The organizer of a spring sumo tour on Thursday said the sport's governing body requested girls be excluded from taking part in an event in which school-aged children joined wrestlers on the ring.

An official of the Japan Sumo Association in charge of the tour held in Shizuoka, central Japan, called the organizer on April 4 and asked that girls be barred from taking part in last Sunday's event, according to the organizer.

Earlier this month, the sumo body drew widespread criticism and worldwide attention after a referee demanded female medics leave a sumo ring while they were providing emergency treatment to a local mayor who had collapsed and suffered a stroke.

In sumo, the ring, or dohyo as it is known, is regarded as sacred and women are forbidden from entering.

The official did not give any reason for the decision, despite girls having participated in events alongside the "Fujisan Shizuoka" tour since 2013.

Approximately five girls who are members of sumo clubs in the cities of Shizuoka and Yaizu were planning on participating in this year's event.

According to the JSA, it decided last month to only allow male children to take part during a review of the tour plan.

"The decision was made in consideration of the safety (of the girls), as we have received opinions from parents and organizers claiming they have been frequently injured," a sumo association official said.

Tomohiro Nakajima, 43, who is involved with the Yaizu sumo club, said it was regrettable that the girls have been banned since children of both genders have been training alongside each other at the club for some time.